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5 Jan 2021, 19:00
The ‘System led support for carers’ award recognised work by health, social care and charities across our area to identify carers who are looking after friends and family under the radar of local services and put them in contact with the support and advice they need.
The HSJ judging panel was impressed that all health and social care organisations including community nursing and mental health were working closely with community and voluntary organisations like Carers in Hertfordshire and HertsHelp to ensure all services reach out to carers and support them. Support takes many forms, including enabling a carer to take a break whilst their loved one is looked after or emotional support for someone whose partner has dementia.
Tim Anfilogoff, Head of Community Resilience for the CCG and carers’ lead for the sustainable and transformation partnership led the award submission. Collecting the award alongside Nicolas Small (Chair) and David Evans (Director of Commissioning) from the CCG and Carole Whittle, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Carers in Hertfordshire, Tim said: “Unpaid friend and family carers make up 10 per cent of the population of Hertfordshire and west Essex and we need to ensure they get the advice and help they need.
“With carers’ champions working in GP practices and social care, libraries, community nursing and even the fire service helping to identify and support those who are caring for a friend or relative, we are building truly ‘carer-aware’ communities. As well as making sure that carers get flu jabs and health checks from GP surgeries we can also help carers access detailed advice, practical help, support from social care or simply get the opportunity to meet with other carers socially to break down their sense of isolation.”
The approach is already showing positive results. In west Hertfordshire the number of carers taking up GP health checks has increased by 40% in the last three years to 2,023, while 5,900 carers took up the offer of a flu jab (up 32%). Helping people stay healthy benefits the carer, their friends and family members, and the health and care ‘system’ as a whole.
Hertfordshire and west Essex is one of NHS England’s first ‘Carer Exemplars’, sharing best practice nationally, with initiatives like an online tool to support self-care and the ability to register online as a carer – making individuals simultaneously known to adult care services, the charity Carers in Hertfordshire and to GPs.
Dr Nicolas Small, chair of Herts Valleys CCG, added: “We have been developing this work in partnership with Carers in Hertfordshire, the county council and others for many years now. It’s great to see our support for carers spreading through the sustainable and transformation partnership and to see national recognition for our collective efforts. We know there’s more to do but we have a great foundation to build on.”
The CCG was also shortlisted in the categories of Chief Executive of the Year for Kathryn Magson and for Optimisation of medicines management – a joint approach with Central London Community Healthcare to improve home oxygen services.
The photo shows, from left, presenter Sanjeev Bhaskar; Dr Nicolas Small, CCG Chair; Tim Anfilogoff, CCG Head of Community Resilience; Carole Whittle, Health and Wellbeing Manager, Carers in Hertfordshire; David Evans, CCG Director of Commissioning; Jen Kenward, Experience of Care Lead – Community, Primary & Integrated Care, NHS England